Processes need to adapt to the needs of the product and team

A single Trello board with a few lists works well for most early-stage teams and products. However, as they grow more organizational tools may be necessary. For example, we might want to first add lists to the "Current" board such as:

  • Bugs
  • Product Design
  • Engineering

Later on, those lists might be better organized as entire boards themselves. Separated as boards, it's easier to evaluate the relative value of addressing each related thing. Separate boards also keep the "Current" board clean and the product team focused on the week at hand.

Each of those boards can be organized as the team sees fit for the stage of the product and the team's communication needs.

On the "Bugs" board, we've sometimes used labels to describe relative criticality of the bug. If a bug is labeled Critical, then it is pulled immediately into Next Up on the "Current" board. If the bug is not critical, it stays in Bugs until the next weekly retrospective. A bug has steps to reproduce the bug and optionally a screenshot or screencast.

The cards on the "Product Design" board are typically the result of sketching user flows, usability tests, other user research, or the designer's feel for visual design improvements.

The cards on the "Engineering" board are refactorings and other engineering tasks necessary to reduce bugs or improve the user experience. "Response time" is a primary user experience goal on every app. If an engineering task is labeled Critical, then it is pulled immediately to Next Up. If the task is not critical, it stays in Engineering until the next weekly retrospective.

By starting with as lightweight process as possible, and then adapting that process over time based on actual successes and failures experienced by the team, we ensure that we keep overhead low and ensure we remain as fast and agile as possible.

Talk to one of our product experts about building success into your process.